"Instead of a reading list, I have a reading pile with jotted down
titles on scraps of paper stuck between books and articles that passed the
table of contents or first/last paragraph interest scan test these past
nine months. Given that 'Bright Kids and Anxious Parents R Us' at Uni, several
books are a must this summer for me.
"Living with the 'gifted' label provides both parents and students with challenges, so two books promise some insight into how to understand, live with, and stick up for creative and curious children at school. For smart teens wanting some advice about how to deal with high expectations, 'The Gifted Kids Survival Guide II' is hot off the Free Spirit press. Judy Galbraith and Jim Delisle understand the high points and hassles of growing up 'gifted.' For parents worried about raising a 'nerd' or a perfectionist, Sally Yahnke Walker offers suggestions in 'The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids.' " 'Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls' is a top seller about the everyday dangers of being young and female in our sexualized and media-saturated culture, and what adults can do to help. Mary Pipher sounds the alarm about our girl-poisoning culture.
"Another pair of books take a longitudinal look at gifted females. When psychologists Barbara Kerr attended the 10-year reunion of her school of high achievers, she was stunned to discover that most of the women were unemployed or underemployed. What began as a simple question -- 'Why had certain gifted women failed to fulfill the rich promise of childhood?' -- became two books: 'Smart Girls, Gifted Women' and 'Smart Girls Two,' a 20-year follow-up on her high school group."
"I have been having trouble finding things that I want to read that may interest others," said Geoff Bant. "I gave up, so this is what I really want to read.
"I have a fixation right now on the notion of social or collective memory and try to read everything I can find. The books span many disciplines.
Right now I want to find time to read some longer or more thoughtful books.
" 'The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments,' by M. Christine Boyer, attempts to examine the place of history and memory in the art of city building. 'Genocide and the Politics of Memory: Studying Death to Preserve Life,' by Herbert Hirsch, tries to examine the link between genocide, politics and memories of an ethnic, racial, regional and religious nature.
"Gerald M. Edelman, the neurobiologist, has a number of books that discuss memory and his theory of neural Darwinism. I want to read the popularized summary of his work, 'Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind.' "Also the recent book by John Searle, 'The Construction of Social Reality,' sounds interesting. (He was on campus to speak a couple of months ago). I want to see how his notion of collective intentionality might be applied to collective memories.
"My wife reads stacks of the latest literary stuff and tries to get me out of my rut. She has recommended I read 'The Ant Proof Case,' by Mark Helprin, and 'The Mind Body Problem,' by Rebecca Goldstein, and has now challenged me to read 'Infinite Jest,' by David Foster Wallace. That is a 1,000 pages with no guarantee that there is a mention of the word memory.
"But the way summers seem to go around our house, we will be lucky if we get to read the Sunday paper each week. Summer reading, what's that?"